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351  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why did WinRAR Unplugged (portable Winrar version) get discontinued? on: January 25, 2013, 01:04:03 PM
I've met Burak - the fellow who runs WinRar - and he struck me as a smart business fellow.
Alexander is no longer in the game?
352  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Who is still runnig XP? on: January 25, 2013, 12:56:15 PM
Seriously it took me a while to move from XP to 7 but there is no way I would move back now and I'd go to Linux before returning to the misery of Windows 98 !!!
Same here - and if MS continue too much down the path they've started with Win8, I might (begrudgingly) jump ship... but until that happens, why consider a second-grade OS? tongue
353  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Open Letter to Skype on: January 25, 2013, 12:15:44 PM
We call on Skype to release a regularly updated Transparency Report that includes:
They should do that, but really it's a no-brainer - Microsoft has to comply with the patriot act.

While there might not have been (but I'd be surprised if there weren't) any backdoors in Skype prior to the MS purchase, there certainly were means to see exactly what was going on. And while it might not be official now, there's definitely regular backdoors in Skype now.

Who on earth would use non-opensource programs for secure communications anyway?  tellme ohmy tellme huh huh huh tellme huh tellme ohmy

(oh yeah. I need to kick myself in the hiney and get fSekrit brushed up for opensource release. Version3 de/serialization and PBKDF2 wasn't the funniest code to implement, so both those features are halfway-done at the moment).
354  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Who is still runnig XP? on: January 25, 2013, 12:06:07 PM
And if a new OS is worth running, it's worth more on new hardware.
I mostly agree - however, on most hardware Win7 will probably be a smoother experience than XP SP3 - and Win8, moreso. Heck, I'd even take a (tweaked) version of Vista SP1 over XP SP3... given that there's no driver trouble, of course smiley

Dunno about software compatibility, you probably run stuff that's more obscure than I do - but I haven't really come across stuff that didn't work on Vista, Win7 or Win8 - it probably helps that I ran the 64bit version of XP, though, which means I took some compatibility hits up-front, and learned necessary workarounds for software that was CRAPPILY PROGRAMMED.

I'll repeat that, and a bit blunter: software that runs on XP but not on Vista and later is CRAP PROGRAMMED, probably in the Win9x "everybody is an administrator" mentality. Unless an application is doing something Really Special Snowflake style, it really ought to run from Win2k and upwards. But since a lot of developers came from Win9x and never bothered to read the MS guidelines that's been around since, oh, probably pre-NT4, we have a lot of software that's... wank.
355  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The Best Of: text editors on: January 25, 2013, 11:46:44 AM
OO!!  One of the very few editors with ftp access built in.  Very tempting just for that.
I see that as a kind of anti-feature, aimed at disorganized PHP developers smiley
LOL! That was cold! Grin Likely true. Thmbsup But still cold. Grin
Well, sorry.

But once you've seen enough people that directly edit their scripts webpages on production servers, don't have any VCS, and only occasionally do backups in zipfiles (with no coherent naming schemes...), you kinda start to disapprove of built-in ftp support smiley
356  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: January 25, 2013, 11:44:55 AM
I kinda like offensive t-shirts, but I'm adult enough to (mostly) know when to not wear them.
357  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The Best Of: text editors on: January 25, 2013, 01:56:51 AM
OO!!  One of the very few editors with ftp access built in.  Very tempting just for that.
I see that as a kind of anti-feature, aimed at disorganized PHP developers smiley
358  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are you going to wait for Windows 9? on: January 24, 2013, 02:45:25 PM
Hm, it makes sense to offer the new Win8-style "advanced boot" selections in addition to the hotkey spamming. On my system, Windows boots so fast that I'd have trouble hitting F8 at the right time (not to mention that I have to wait the few 100msec where the BIOS/UEFI listens to that key for selecting boot device, but need to hit the key before "too late" in the bootloader tongue).

That's one of the real bad decision, MS.

Anyway, can malware completely block the "restart with advanced boot" thingy? Iirc one of the ways you enable it is shutdown from Ctrl+Alt+Delete - CAD is supposed to be pretty hard to trap.
359  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are you going to wait for Windows 9? on: January 24, 2013, 01:24:38 PM
PS: Anyone got any idea how to get into advanced startup mode on a laptop with an old fashioned BIOS?
F2 or Delete
I was about to post that as well - but then I realized Carol probably means the Windows boot settings, not the BIOS?
360  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Would a 41 megapixel camera get you to buy a Windows 8 phone? on: January 24, 2013, 01:49:24 AM
I don't know why people have gotten this unhealthy idea that more MP means better images. It seems unlikely they can make a lens for a phone that would give any kind of usefulness to 41 MP. Personally, I would much rather have a phone with a 5 MP camera and a stellar lens and better flash.
This! Thmbsup

Also, while it's nice having a decent camera in your phone to take a quick snap of whatever, with current lens technology, there's just no way to fit anything "awesome" into a phone that's small and comfy. So I'd much rather have just a decent phone camera, and an IXUS or similar compact for taking better pictures.

(If I had any photography skills, I'd of course go for a real camera, but since I don't, an IXUS fits my needs perfectly smiley).
361  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Computer science student expelled for testing university software security on: January 22, 2013, 09:16:36 AM
The job offers are starting up now.
He may have fast-tracked his career!

Report says even Skytech is offering.
Hm, I think there will be more info sometime tomorrow.

http://news.nationalpost....refuses-to-reinstate-him/
Hrm, did he actually do anything interesting, or did he just run some scriptkiddeialready-existing tools?

If the latter, something smells fishy wrt. job offers...
362  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Tips for Windows 8 (got any?) on: January 21, 2013, 04:03:19 PM
That will make a complete shutdown though, not a "Windows 8 Shutdown".
Doesn't that require adding "/hybrid"? (On my win7 workstation right now, so can't check shutdown.exe arguments smiley).
363  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Computer science student expelled for testing university software security on: January 21, 2013, 11:22:43 AM
From my sysadmin perspective all I can say is: A predictable and avoidable outcome.  I'm hardly surprised at the response.  Nor should he be.
Agreed.

If you don't have a (written) agreement with your target, you're not pentesting - you're hacking.

Is it piss-poor behavior from the uni? Yes. But if you're not going to play by the rules (which might very well be necessary sometimes, whistleblowing incompetent lying bastards comes to mind), you'll have to expect unfavorable outcomes.

Which is why you run such scans from a VM on a laptop with a faked MAC address, through TOR on a public WiFi.
364  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: It's about ... an interesting Win8 view (video) on: January 21, 2013, 07:52:04 AM
That's been posted before in one of those win 8 threads here, but I aint going looking for it ;-)
Here you go - also, could we keep the discussion of that piece of manure in one thread? :-)
365  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Facebook Turns to Spam on: January 20, 2013, 02:04:19 PM
If you're not paying for it, you are the product.

I hope that what facebook is doing (ad-spam, data mining you all the way up your hiney, ...) doesn't come as as a surprise to anybody? Anyway, AdBlockPlus + Ghostery does a nice job of making facebook not too awful, at least for the time being smiley
366  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: MEGA Almost Online - Misses Deadline on: January 20, 2013, 07:58:23 AM
just out of curiousity: was your browser uptodate?
It shows even for the latest firefox - doesn't pop up right away, you have to upload some files for it to show.
367  Other Software / Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: Bvckup 2 on: January 19, 2013, 02:49:26 PM
Right,

I actually got around to running some benchmarks last weekend, but got sidetracked and forgot to post anything smiley. So far I've only run warm-cache tests - for cold-cache, I really really really want to be able to automate the process. I want to collect a lot of data sets, but I'm way too lazy to manually do all the reboots necessary :-)

First, specs:
Testbox:
   ASUS P5K-VM
   Corsair XMS2 2GB DDR2 800MHz (2x1GB)
   Intel Core2 E6550 @ 2.33GHz
   Western Digital 3.5" 74GB Raptor

Workstation:
   ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
   Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600MHz (4x8GB)
   Intel Core i7 3770 Ivy Bridge
   INTEL SSD 520 Series 120GB
   Western Digital 2.5" 300GB VelociRaptor

For the workstation, I ran the test on the VelociRaptor which is a big dump of all sorts of crap smiley. The testbox was freshly installed with Win7-x64 enterprise, LibreOffice 3.6.4, PiriForm Defraggler (didn't defrag it, though), Chrome, and all Windows Updates as of, well, last weekend. I furthermore copied some ~33gig of FLAC music from my server to get some meat on the filesystem - there's ~2.3gig free. The Windows partition is only ~52gig, as I didn't want to nuke the Linux test install I had on the disk - so the Windows partition starts ~18gig into the disk. Furthermore, I've disabled the following services: Defrag, Superfetch, Windows Search (hopefully turns off indexing?). Other than that, it's a pretty vanilla install, I even left the 2gig pagefile in place.

Anyway, I started by running a warmup, then I generated output files by running the following quick hackjob batch file - it does 16 identical passes of 1 to 16 threads, and both depth and breadth - so 512 totalt runs. Oh, and it also starts each pass with a single verbose run:

It would seem that the difference between depth- and breadth-first are pretty small for the warm-cache tests, and that there's not much to be gained from using more threads than CPU cores (makes sense for the warm cache scenario). It doesn't seem like there's a lot of penalty to using more threads than cores, though - but it obviously uses slightly more system resources.

I'm attaching a zip file with the raw output from the hackjob batch file, and pondering a decent way to visualize it. I guess the 16 consecutive runs should be processed into {min,max,avg,mean} values - should be easy enough to do the processing, but how to handle the rendering? Some LibreOffice spread sheet, some HTML + JavaScript charting? Got any good ideas? smiley

Also, if I find a way to automate the cold-cache testing (suggestions would be very welcome!), I'll throw in stats from my old dualcore-with-SSD laptop.
368  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: MEGA Almost Online - Misses Deadline on: January 19, 2013, 01:56:17 PM
Not sure I like that domain name. mega.co.nz --> Mega Conz --> Mega Cons?
Priceless cheesy
369  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Java Update on Tuesday on: January 18, 2013, 10:28:56 AM
WHahahaha! Wink Very subtle. Almost CRied laughing! cheesy
Who is #3?
At the moment (well, for a pretty long time), Microsoft. The list is based on a mix of evilness, douchebaggery, (wrong) public opinion, and market influence.

The exploits in question only affect JDK 7, not JDK 6, which is much more secure, to say nothing of more stable.
Ah yes, there were never any exploits for Java 6?

If you have the Java browser plugin, no matter which version, you shouldn't feel safe. End of story.

Also, these exploits only affect in-browser user, so there is no reason to dump any software that is written in Java and runs on your local system, rather than in a browser.
True - no reason to dump Eclipse or Minecraft, you just need to get rid of the browser plugin smiley. Sure, there's very likely other security holes in the JRE, but if an attacker has reached the level where he's going to compromise non-browser JRE, you've got more serious security issues.
370  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Doom 3 Source Code - The neatest code I've ever seen on: January 18, 2013, 10:24:23 AM
Renegade: "verbSomething" isn't necessarily always the best, though, and especially not in the case of getters...

if( getOptionEnabled() ) versus if( isOptionEnabled() ) versus if( optionIsEnabled() ) smiley

IMHO option #3 quite clearly reads best, but #2 is probably the pragmatic solution wrt. IntelliSense support.
371  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Disable Win+V in Windows 8 on: January 18, 2013, 10:18:15 AM
Sounds like Win+... shortcuts can be "overwritten" by an application then. Maybe an API that has changed with Windows 8.
I don't think there's any changes - it's just that Win8 added more Win+X shortcut keys.

AutoHotKey (and probably AutoIt?) is able to override the shortcuts that Windows (explorer.exe, I assume?) set up. Dunno the technique behind, perhaps global keyboard hook - I seem to recall that a hotkey override wasn't effective when focus was on a program launched with administrative privileges, that would at least support the keyboard hook theory.
372  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Doom 3 Source Code - The neatest code I've ever seen on: January 17, 2013, 02:56:47 PM
He has some decent points, but on other points I'd say "he'll get wiser" smiley - Carmack himself has also replied, stating that "In some ways, I still think the Quake 3 code is cleaner, as a final evolution of my C style, rather than the first iteration of my C++ style" and also "In retrospect, I very much wish I had read Effective C++ and some other material." - which to me translates as "this is not how I'd do it today" and definitely not being idiomatic C++ all the way through.

A few comments...

Unified Parsing and Lexical Analysis - i.e., using (the same) text format for all resources). Shawn praises that, but here's what Carmack has to say about it:
Quote
Fabien Sanglard - So far only .map files were text-based but with idTech4 everything is text-based: Binary seems to have been abandoned. It slows down loading significantly since you have to idLexer everything....and in return I am not sure what you got. Was it to make it easier to the mod community ?

John Carmack - In hindsight, this was a mistake. There are benefits during development for text based formats, but it isn't worth the load time costs. It might have been justified for the animation system, which went through a significant development process during D3 and had to interact with an exporter from Maya, but it certainly wasn't for general static models.
...might have been a decent compromise keeping source material in text format, but create a binary representation as well - not necessarily fully specialized formats for each resource type, but a model like XAML/BAML might have been a natural fit?

Const and Rigid Parameters - pretty much spot on. C++ style const specifiers is something I miss in other languages. It's also nice to see that Carmack uses const-ref for input and pointers for output, it's IMHO good practice. It does mean you need null-checking, but IMHO it's an OK compromise (the stuff I do with output parameters tends to be hard to end up with a nullptr for).

Minimal Comments - pretty spot on, IMHO.

Spacing - disagree. The additional code-on-screen I'd get from putting braces on the same line doesn't matter too much... the readbility drop from cramped code and not being able to line up braces visually weighs a lot more. And I like blank lines between logical chunks of code. Dunno if there's been done any studies on this or if it's just down to personal preference, but my approach works a lot better for me :-). Oh, I fully agree with always using braces, even for single-line statements.

Minimal Templates - I'm a bit mixed with regards to this. Parts of the STL are somewhat sucky (remove+erase is a good example), and before C++11's lambdas, using std::algorithm was often extremely clunky and ugly. OTOH, for the most part the STL datatypes are easy to use and you get decent enough performance out of the box. Now, if you have code that's extremely sensitive to LORw or benefits massively from pooled allocation (either for speed or for avoiding heap fragmentation), it might make more sense to roll your own rather than mucking around with allocators and whatnot. But I'd definitely default to STL for 'anything normal'. And auto is a really great new feature, it doesn't make code hard to read (quite the opposite!) unless abused.

Anyway, Carmack being sceptical of STL probably made a lot of sense back when they started the doom3 codebase (game released in 2004, so several years before that - that would probably mean VC++ from VS.NET2002 (at least during start of development, perhaps VS.NET2003 for release?)), there's been several bugs and performance problems in STL implementations over the years... but it's 2012 now.

Remnants of C - getters/setters are often overkill, but I'm not fond of Shawn's examples. For immutable objects, having fields public can be OK (though one might argue that for the sake of binary compatibility for future upgrades, it might be better to use an accessor function anyway). But direct access to mutable fields? Ugh. I guess it's mostly a code smell to me since I tend to belive mutable objects implies "complex stuff", where you'd want some logic attached to the action of mutating.

StringStreams are ugly, but printf is unsafe - solution? use some safe formatting code. Been a while since I took a look, but there's several to choose from depending on your speed/flexibility needs.

Horizontal Spacing - pretty much agree.

Method Names - somewhat agree. I do prefer function names that read like English, but for simple & common & well-defined methods like size() and length(), I prefer not having the get prefix. In general, I'm not fond of getters/setters, I find that they read less naturally - still not sure what the most elegant solution is. I've toyed around with the idea of simply naming the accessor methods from the field name, which does read nicely... but is somewhat non-standard. Oh, and it feels wrong that the 'setter' functions are hard to discern from other functions, and you lose the value of having getXxx and setXxx methods grouped in auto-completion (which is nice for discoverability in a big codebase). ObjectPascal and C# properties are nice.

And finally,
Yes, it's Beautiful - the codebase might very well be, but I don't find any of Shawn's examples beautiful in themselves, more along the lines of "this looks like decently engineered code" smiley

373  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Disable Win+V in Windows 8 on: January 17, 2013, 12:28:46 PM
Use AutoHotkey or AutoIt.
That has worked for me in the past to get control of Win+whatever shortcuts.

While I understand that Win+SingleLetter are reserved for Microsoft, it would still be nice of them if they had a place where you could enable/disable those built-in hotkeys at will.
374  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Java Update on Tuesday on: January 16, 2013, 02:09:54 AM
They've been bundling the Ask toolbar for a while, btw, it's not introduced with the security fix.

But yeah, it's whOracle - #2 on my list of really evil software companies, where crApple still reigns supreme.

375  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: MagicRAR Drive Press - worth anything? on: January 15, 2013, 01:32:50 PM
Because of that I request that both related threads be locked.
Dunno if they need to be locked - they're pretty dead now from my viewpoint.

One last thing coming up in a few, though, since I promised it: working on a small test to see what happens wrt. very small files (MFT-resident) when you apply compression.

Here, results from testing some very small files on an NTFS volume with 1k clusters. The files were highly comrpessible (filled with A's). The lines with "x is UNcompressed" (etc) are from a small tool I whipped up, the middle parts is the output from Microsoft's COMPACT.EXE.

small100.txt is UNcompressed, 100/100, (MFT resident), 1 fragments
small500.txt is UNcompressed, 500/500, (MFT resident), 1 fragments
small1000.txt is UNcompressed, 1000/1000,  1 fragments
small5000.txt is UNcompressed, 5000/5000,  1 fragments
====================================================
 Compressing files in R:\temp\z\

small100.txt              100 :       100 = 1,0 to 1 [OK]
small1000.txt            1000 :      1000 = 1,0 to 1 [OK]
small500.txt              500 :       500 = 1,0 to 1 [OK]
small5000.txt            5000 :      1024 = 4,9 to 1 [OK]

4 files within 1 directories were compressed.
6.600 total bytes of data are stored in 2.624 bytes.
The compression ratio is 2,5 to 1.
====================================================
small100.txt is compressed, 100/100, (MFT resident), 1 fragments
small500.txt is compressed, 500/500, (MFT resident), 1 fragments
small1000.txt is compressed, 1000/1000,  2 fragments
small5000.txt is compressed, 5000/1024,  2 fragments


Observations:
1) MFT-resident data stays resident - good!
2) The really small files aren't actually compressed (GetCompressedFileSize == GetFileSizeEx, see MSDN) - they are flagged compressed, though, so will be compressed once they grow.
3) For compressed files, we get "size on disk" (taking clusters into account), not "actual numCompressedBytes" - which makes sense.
4) When compressing non-resident files, we get one excess fragment.
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